GES @ rAge : Cosplay That Blew Our Minds

GES @ rAge : Cosplay That Blew Our Minds

love-cosplay-clearAs per the dictionary definition, cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga or anime. This definition makes it easier to understand why the cosplay participation at the rAge Gaming Expo is growing with leaps and bounds each year. rAge 2014 saw a record number of 97 entries into the cosplay competition, which is widely regarded to be the biggest competition of its kind in South Africa. This figure does not include the cosplayers who attended and cosplayed purely for fun. And this year GES was fortunate enough to get a behind the scenes look at the competition as we were invited by the competition organisers, Legion Ink, to be part of the judging panel. Stuff, from which bucket-lists are made up, let me tell you…

Being a first-time cosplay judge I knew I had my work cut out for me and when I found out that I would be judging alongside Baka Sakura and Yamaki, who were both celebrated cosplayers in their own right, I got even more nervous. I was wondering what they would be like when you meet them in real life. I mean, these ladies got a huge following on social media so surely they would be aware of their status amongst the cosplay community. How would they treat me, a muggle as far as cosplay is concerned? I was in for a treat though as both ladies welcomed me into the cosplay fold with open arms. They took their time to explain the criteria that we were using to judge the entrants by and when it came to the start of the competition they made feel like I was an important part of the judges panel and that my opinions counted just as much as theirs. Mind blown right there.

Linda, Baka Sakura & Yamaki
Linda, Baka Sakura & Yamaki
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Some of the winners on stage at rAge 2014 as they were accepting their awards

You might have heard this before but we were blown away with the level of craftsmanship we saw during the competition. There were so many people who used recycled materials to make their costumes and we saw a lot of interesting combinations of different types of materials. We saw costumes that lit up at the flick of a well hidden switch (here’s looking at you Thor) and there were even entrants who made their own shoes. It was mind blowing and overwhelming at the same time but luckily we were working according to Legion Ink’s trusted judging spread sheet which made the judging a breeze to get through. I also have to mention how impressed I was by the number of novices (noobs in gaming terms) who entered this year. And the quality of their costumes was out of this world. Therefore I wasn’t too surprised when I saw that the novices dominated in the final results. They were literally that good, I can assure you.Winner-Copy

The winners in the different categories were as follows:

  • For Anime/Manga

1st Brogan Norman as Uchiha Madara from Naruto Shippuden – Novice

2nd Nicole Nienaber as Fiona from Adventure Time – Novice

3rd Mauritz Gouws as Cloud Strive from FF7 Advent Children – Intermediate

4th Jeffrey Lu as No-Face from Spirited Away – Intermediate

  •  For Western Pop

1st Anre van Rooyen as Harley Quinn from Batman – Master

2nd Fanie Curry as Two Face from Batman: Forever – Novice

3rd Tiffany Zeeman as Lady Loki from Marvel Comics – Intermediate (tied with..)

3rd Jessi Ochse as Smaug from The Hobbit – Intermediate

4th Garth McCarthy as Eric Dravin/The Crow from the 1994 Brandon Lee movie: The Crow – Master

  •  For Gaming

1st Lauren Mutch as Muria from Darksiders 2 – Journeyman

2nd Tayla Barter as Jinx form League of Legends – Journeyman

3rd Raynardt Vos as a Tier 16 Druid from World of Warcraft – Novice

4th Jacques Joubert as a Sith Acolyte from Star Wars the old Republic – Novice

  •  Honourable Mention Best Newcomer (the highest scoring novice who didn’t place above):

Jia Lin Lu as Rukia Kuchiki from Bleach

  •  Honourable Mention for Best Master Skit (master division only):

Anre van Rooyen as Harley Quinn from Batman

  • Honourable Mention for best impression by a group:

Veleska as Inuyasha with Lidia as Sesshomaru from Inuyasha

  • For Costume Construction (held as a separate category this year)

1st Lauren Mutch as Muria form Darksiders 2 – Journeyman

2nd Raynardt Vos as a Tier 16 Druid from World of Warcraft – Novice

I also had the opportunity to chat to various cosplayers on the expo floor about their costumes and how they made it and we compiled a video report of what was happening on the Saturday at rAge. The cosplay section of the vid is up right at the beginning. Check out our video below:

I am very excited for the future of cosplay in South Africa. We’ve got tons of talent amongst our local cosplayers and we don’t have to stand back one inch for the international scene. True, we’re at an disadvantage as far as availability of supplies are concerned but I’ve seen people being very creative and innovative so I’m sure that they’ll be able to cope just fine. We’re looking forward to the next cosplay competition which will be held at Geekfest in November and even though I won’t be on the judging panel, I’ll definitely be there with my camera, staring wide-eyed at the cosplayers and their costumes.

We’ve got some pictures of the awesome cosplay costumes that were to be seen at rAge 2014 from all three days. Big thank you to Theo Muller and Wayne Engelbrecht for letting us use their pictures of the day, Hope you enjoy them as much as we did 

About Linda Jager

Linda Jager

I’m proudly Geek and have a passion for all things pop-culture. Huge fan of The Walking Dead. Lover of gadgets and technology and although I’m not a gamer (sadly no hand-eye co-ordination) I find myself drawn to the gaming culture and community and how it connects with one of my biggest passions – collecting action figures and statues. I love to watch movies and series and there’s nothing better than having conversations with other people about the things I feel so passionately about. Being an 80’s child I am a huge fan of retro stuff and my Thundercats collection is one of my most prized possessions. That, and my A-Team van. Follow me on Twitter @LindaAtGES

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